By the time she graduated from Severna Park High School in Maryland in 1986, Miriam Luby Wolfe knew what she wanted to do with her life. In the yearbook she wrote as her goals, "Sing and dance my way through life, star on Broadway, become internationally famous, win an Oscar...and live happily ever after." The dreams ended on Miriam's trip returning home from a semester in London, England, in which she had studied dance, dramatic literature, acting, voice, and art history. She also had a dramatic internship at London's Kingshead Theatre.
In high school, Miriam was president of the Drama Club and winner of the 1986 Linda Joy Davies Memorial Award for Achievement in Art and Humanities. Her drama teacher there remembers her as energetic and talented. "She was a good actress and had a real flair for comic acting." She and several other Syracuse University students had planned to put together and experimental theater group in Syracuse to deal with subjects such as rape, AIDS, and women's issues. Writing plays was a recent project idea she had shared with her family. "She had all kinds of plans," her mother, Rosemary Mild, said.
Her mother goes on to describe Miriam as brilliant, gifted, but most of all giving. To her family, her friends, and the world she gave an extraordinary portion of love, joy, and wisdom.
Miriam also embraced life with a rare zest and passion, particularly in London in the fall of 1988. Her exuberance was all encompassing: she didn't walk, she bounced, her luxuriant curls bobbing, intense blue eyes sparkling. Miriam was also an inspiring friend—full of humor and encouragement, never judging, even helping those who were auditioning for the same role she was trying out for. Helping people, even strangers, was second nature to her.
Rabbi Robert G. Klensin in his eulogy referred to Miriam's many mitzvahs, the Hebrew word for "good deeds." When she was younger she went door to door collecting for UNICEF. She often gave blank diaries as gifts and inscribed a page with various inspirational verses that encouraged the recipient to write his or her own thoughts. He concluded, "We may not smile today or tomorrow, maybe not next week. Somehow we must focus not on what could have been, but on what was, on the beauty of her life and on all that she brought to us and so many others. So long as we live she, too, shall live, for she is now a part of us as we remember her."
When the Scottish police officer returned Miriam's personal effects, Rosemary discovered new dimensions to her only child: a prolific writer, scholar, and activist with the heart and wisdom of a philosopher. Rosemary published many of Miriam's writings—stories, essays and poems—in the Washington Post; Cricket; Soap Opera Stars; Dramatics magazine; Kids' Byline; Art Times: A Creative & Cultural Journal; and elsewhere. In 1999, Rosemary published Miriam's Gift: A Mother's Blessings—Then and Now. The book describes the families' struggles and triumphs to achieve better airline security and bring the terrorists to justice. In its essence the book seeks to celebrate Miriam's legacy.
Her family and friends honor Miriam's memory in diverse ways. A cousin and three friends have named their babies after Miriam (one first name and three middle names) and three scholarship funds have been established in her memory.
The only child of Rosemary Mild, she also leaves her stepfather, Lawrence Mild; her father, James Wolfe; and her stepmother, Rosemary Wolfe.